medical school

Reflections on my first year of med

Humans are organisms that are constantly changing. Some people change quickly whereas others take a little more time. I personally changed a lot in my first year of medical school and I learned a lot as well. Here’s what I’ve learned.

I learned that medical school is hard work. It’s a constant struggle to get everything together before exams start. It’s a struggle to work consistently every day. There were days that I was just crying because it felt like all of my efforts never seemed enough. I had no choice but to accept it and move on. Hard work often pays off but sometimes it doesn’t and that’s fine too.

I learned that med school ment making sacrifices. And that I wasn’t quite ready for that. This summer I reflected a lot and I actually felt okay studying during my vacation. The reason behind this is that I genuinely like medicine. I like it so much that I’d give up anything in the world to struggle my way through even if all those struggles lead to average results.

I learned that there are always going to be people who gossip (even in university!) and that most of it goes around behind you back. Take my advise and don’t worry about it, there are more important matters in the world :).

I learned the importance of having good friends that motivate you, that are ready to help whenever you need help and that are honest when needed. Big thanks to the people motivated me through my exams, they made me feel more at ease and less stressful which helped me a lot!

I hope you enjoyed this article! Let me know in the comment section what you learned at uni or in college.

Lots of love
-A doctor in spe

Medical stationary gifts

I recently saw a picture on Instagram that had bone balpens and while I was searching for these I came across these amazing school/college supplies. Most of these would make great gifts and they can be found on various sites such as Aliexpress, Amazon and Etsy. So without further ado here are some great gifts for medical students.

gift renew.png

1. Sticky notes
I found these great sticky notes on Amazon, these are pricier than your regular sticky notes but they’re unique and quirky. There are quite a few options to choose from so definitely check these out!
Link: Amazon

2. Memo holder
This is definitely the most unique gift out on this list. It’s a brain shaped memo holder made out of concrete. These are made in the Netherlands and you can find these on Etsy or on the manufacturers site.
Link: Manufacturers site
Link: Etsy

3. Pen
A funny gift for students who are tackling anatomy and learning all bones in the human body. These balpens are quite affordable and can be found on Amazon and on Aliexpress.
Note: since Aliexpress can sometimes be unreliable I’ve tried to filter out two companies that have sold the most and had the best reviews.
Link: Aliexpress
Link: Aliexpress
Link: Amazon

4. Erasers
I found these cool brain shaped eraser tops on Amazon but you can also buy these on Etsy. They come in different colours and are a great addition to your medical stationary.
Link: Amazon
Link: Etsy

5. Tape
I never knew about DNA tape but it’s a clever take on regular tape. You can use this to decorate your note books. This tape also comes in a spinal tape version and you can buy both of these together on Amazon.
Link DNA tape: Amazon
Link spinal tape: Amazon

6. Markers
These come in many different shapes but two stood out to me. The first were pill shaped markers. I personally loved these from Amazon because of the bottle they came in.
The second shape were syringe shaped markers which you can find almost everywhere.
Link pill markers: Amazon
Link syringe markers: Amazon

I hope you enjoyed this stationary as much as I did! Let me know in the comment section which stationary item you liked most.

Lots of love
-A doctor in spe

College supplies: the basics

The new school year is coming up and I wanted to talk about some stuff that come in handy when you’re in college or university. When I started university my biggest issue were the long hours of lectures with only short breaks in between. Everyday I came to my lectures there was always something I had forgotten. So here are the basics that everyone needs.

1. A good backpack goes a long way!
Go for comfort over fashion! I suggest buying a laptop backpack since these are often more comfortable. They usually have padding so your stuff will be protected while you’re carrying it with you and they are roomy.
Looking online I found some basic laptop backpacks from Incase they definitely have a nice design but since theses quite pricy I’ve listed an alternative from Amazon!

 

2. Water bottle
You will be attending classes for long periods of time and it’s nice to have water wherever you go. My university has taps in each campus so you can fill your water bottle. Buying a water bottle is better for your wallet and for the environment! The S’well water bottles were very famous this year and they come in lots of different colors and designs. If you prefer a classic design, go for klean kanteen.

3. Foldable rain coat
The weather here is very unpredictable as it is in most countries. Having a foldable rain coat helps a lot! If you don’t like unflattering rain coats you could also buy a foldable umbrella. This foldable rain coat is from Uniqlo and only costs 39$. You can throw it in your backpack and you’ll be good to go!

4. Good notebook
One thing I struggled with was writing my notes down and not loosing them. In the middle of the year I ended up going for a spiral notebook. My favorite ones are from Oxford but these can be quite expensive. I found some notebooks on Amazon which were on sale. You can check those out via this link.

 

5. Good pencil case
My pencil case was made of canvas and I’ve had it for a very long time. Somehow my fountain pen made a hole inside my pencil case making it look terrible. A good pencil case is a must! I found this a few on amazon. One from Kuuqa and IDream.

 

I hope you enjoyed this article! Let me know what’s on your college supply list in the comment section down below!

Lots of love
-A doctor in spe

Review: how to think like a doctor

As some of you might know I wanted to read a lot of books this summer. I personally liked going for books related to the medical field hoping that I’ll learn from them. I recently made up my entire book list and I’ve already started reading some books. The first one I’ll be reviewing is ‘How doctors think’ and was written by Jerome Groopman M.D. This book has received the quill award for health/self improvement.

The title of the book is quite self-explanatory and though I’m not a doctor yet I figured that this book had to contain some valuable information on the topic. I don’t mean to spoil the book but the book reveals it goal in the first chapters. Students who eventually become doctors struggle with the transition from books to real cases but even older doctors make mistakes. The book gives a ton of anecdotes on the subject to try and show what went wrong with the diagnoses and how doctors can avoid making mistakes.

There are a few things I liked and learned from this book
… I liked the cases that were discussed and that there were a lot of them. Each case was different but the general conclusion was the same
… I liked that there were reasons given on how doctors make small mistakes. However it’s obvious that every human makes mistakes. The thing is that we can all learn from others’ mistakes and thus we can all learn from this book
… I liked the structure of the cases. Each case had a lot of explanation that accompanied it. There was a clear structure.
… I most definitely liked the advise that was given: think in the other direction when somebody comes with complaints. They have headache? Don’t think that it’s just due to tension look further!
More importantly I feel like this book is good for students starting residency. It’ll show you how patients reveal very small clues that are often misinterpreted. Small things like words or signs that make a big difference. It can also show you how confidence can form an issue. Leading to confirmation bias is the enemy here!

I would advise any medical student to read this book because it shows that small things that patients say can mean an entire spectrum of things and that it’s important to try and look for a correct diagnoses instead of assuming the first solution or the most common solution is correct. It’s important to keep all possible diagnoses open and think further than you normally would when diagnosing patients.

Though I’m on vacation definitely leave a comment in the comment section down below telling me what you’re favorite books are.

Lots of love
-A doctor in spe ❤

A medical compendium 

I recently found out about a kickstarter campaign that I thought you might find quite interesting. Two medical students from the Netherlands called Veerle Smit and Romée Snijders decided that the books they used to study medicine were often confusing and contained a lot of information without giving a proper overview on the subjects. They decided to make a Dutch compendium in collaboration with medical students and specialists and eventually published their book ‘compendium geneeskunde’ in september 2016.

At this point you might wonder why I’m talking about this campaign because the book is already published and it’s not really something that could interest international med or premed students since it’s written in Dutch.

Well… The goal of their kickstarter campaign is to change that. They want to raise money to make a complete English (and thus international) version of their book. The book will have the same structure as the Dutch version. It will be a compendium consisting of 4 books. Each book contains different chapters and at the end you’ll be able to test yourself on the information you just read.

bok.jpg

If you happen to be a medical/premed student or if you just want to know a little bit more about basically anything medicine-related I would recommend supporting their kickstarter campagin and buy a 4-part compendium. The prices of these books are amazing and you’ll receive the first ever English version which in my opinion makes it a bit more special. I’m leaving the link to this campaign everywhere on this page 😉 so definitely go check it out!

Lots of love
-A doctor in spe

Challenge update

I’ve noticed quite a few things on this challenge. The main one is that I didn’t follow the perfection plan 100%. I get tired and lazy too and sometimes I really need a day off. But while trying to attain these habits I benefitted a lot.

1. I am way behind with studying
I’m not sure how but somehow I got way behind on anatomy. The thing is that I focus a lot on small details and I don’t want to move on if I don’t know everything just yet. As a result I’m way behind on schedule and I’ll try to get on track asap.

I currently make mini to-do lists and cross what I’ve finished. I have a lot of courses that follow quickly during my exams so I need to start cramming – which is something I wish I could’ve avoided.

2. Social media
I still use Facebook, mostly for educational purposes. For example talking to my mentor or planning a session for physics or chemistry. It’s still very hard to leave all the other things alone though! For some reason people reach out to me to answer questions so I end up having about 10 messages about courses in the evening.

I try to track as much of this challenge on Instagram if you want to ‘follow’ me during this period. I don’t always update pictures but there are a few @Doctorinspe. I try to not pay too much attention to making these pictures look nice. I’ve got better things to do with my time than organizing food and taking pretty pictures. Also I use an app called daymine which automatically sets the date and time so I kind of oblige myself to keep up.

Another thing I did was check the news quite often. There are rector elections currently and both parties are a bad choice for our university -in my opinion. I even felt ashamed of the arguments they used. I can’t believe that these people might become our rector.

3. Healthy food
Since I live at home I’m bound to eat whatever my family is eating and I do respect that. I don’t expect my mother to make something different just for me. This however means that if we’re having french fries I need to eat that too. Yesterday it was mothers day and my mom made a cake, two batches of cupcakes and brownies. Needless to say I couldn’t resist (shoutout to my mom who cooked on her own mothersday).

I also craved chocolate a lot! I made sure that the chocolate I ate was pure (and I do check the label to get 70-80% chocolate) but I have to admit that I also ate Kinder Bueno which is very sweet (but soooo gooooood!).

If I don’t have enough time for breakfast I’ll replace it with a smoothie. It takes me under 5 minutes to make one so I know what I’ll be drinking during my exams.

4. Working out
The past week I went bicycling once and went for a run once. Before sleeping I also did some yoga.
I’ve pushed working out to the weekend which was not a good idea at all. I always assumed that working out took a lot of time but when put in perspective it honestly is not that bad! It usually takes me 15-30 minutes per workout session which is completely fine if you ask me.

5. Sleeping habits
Creating good sleep habits felt weird. I used to have a natural clock which woke me up very early. Even as a kid I’d wake up early in the morning but during high school and university my clock shifted and I would sleep through because I didn’t have anything to do. I set my alarm at 6:00 but because of the pressure and stress I always woke up earlier. My natural clock wakes me up before 6:00 a.m. so I’m quite lucky. If I’m really tired, I’ll wake up at around 8:15.

All in all this challenge was obviously a lot of work. Putting in a 100% everyday was very exhausting and I came to class feeling tired. The thing is that it made me realize the importance of hard work. Everyone can achieve everything they want as long as they are willing to put the effort and hard work in it. It’ll be a struggle but it’ll make the end goal worth it even more. I’m going tot keep trying to put this much effort in everything I do. This challenge will be going on until I go on a hopefully well-deserved vacation.
During my vacation I’ll try to upload something but I prefer to enjoy my vacation. Especially after all of the work I’ll be putting in now. I hope you enjoyed this article :).

Lots of love
-A doctor in spe

 

The medical tag

I’ve been all over the internet searching for a tag to do. A tag consists of all sorts of questions that you can answer. I was specifically looking for a medical tag. Mainly because I wanted to learn more about other medical students out there. Since I was unable to find a tag I decided to make one. So here it is! The first medical tag aimed at students who are studying medicine or premed.

  1. Who are you and where do you study?
  2. When did you start studying medicine or premed courses?
  3. What made you choose the medical field?
  4. How did you come up with your blog name/username?
  5. How would you describe your blog?
  6. What’s your favorite quote?
  7. Best memory in medical school?
  8. What’s one course you struggled with?
  9. What’s your favorite book?
  10. What do you do in your free time?
  11. What do you want to major or specialize in?
  12. Who do you look up to?
  13. How do you study (productively)?
  14. How do you stay motivated in medical school?
  15. What are your best tips for future medical students?

I’ve tagged some medical blogs down below! Let me know in the comments down below if you want to do this tag and leave your social media links down below!
@muvirevu, @blakdoc, @fitnessgrad, @medschoolandmascara, @lifeofamedschoolwife, @dramasforscrubs, @potentialdoc, @mindfulmedstudent, @wedtomed, @docwithpen, @towardsmedicine, @ohtheplacesyoullgomed, @sequinsandstethoscopes, @pinkandpremed,